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Thread: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

  1. #201
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    How many truly uniques guitar shapes are there, with electric guitars there are some but acoustic, there are a lot that are so close as to be almost the same. It's a design that people like, same with Mandolins. There are some basic designs and I don't care who makes it if Gibson had something truly unique they had their time with it, didn't defend it like they should have and now want all rights to it back BS.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    We know corporations have no soul so it kinda surprised me when they needed a tool, a " spokesperson" , they were very successful. Except it was the wrong kind of "tool".

  3. #203

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    If you want to see corporations that have a “soul” look no further than Patagonia, the outdoor outfitter or any B Corp. Not every company is totally about money. Patagonia does very well, despite their higher pricing.

    Gibson is still operating under the 1980’s management by intimidation approach. Sooner or later they will either change that channel or go off the air. How a company could be so self absorbed and self destructive is beyond comprehension.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    They never really sold any of those Strats but still they did reverse the slant of the bridge pickup. That would have made it unique wouldn't it?
    They've definitely sold both Tele's and Strat's (with ugly pegheads) as Epiphones though.

  8. #206
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    What about the 3 pointer and the torch and wire inlay? Is that up for grabs? Gibson should add that on to their list...

  9. #207

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    If they have not registered the trademark by now it’s going to be hard to get through the process now. Notice the F5 and A shapes are not trademarked. More than likely they are too generic now to trademark.

    In order to trademark you have to establish that the design is unique to your company. Anything that has been and is being used by a multitude of companies will be hard to trademark. IP law is complicated and there are steps that need to be taken before protections can be put in place.
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  10. #208
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Here's hoping Gibson kicks axx and takes names in this.
    In the almost 100 years since the iconic LL mandolins (and the decade of great design before that), designers still can't come up with their own designs?
    Such designers still copy the designs that another company's designers produced and count on their adherence to those design specifications as "proof" of their quality?
    And everyone demonizes Gibson? GMAB.
    Really a sad case being made here. And the quoting of "copyright" laws makes it only that much more pathetic.
    More power to Gibson.
    Let's see some more design originality from contemporary mandolin makers. And from buyers.
    You want a Gibson design? Buy a Gibson.
    You want an original design? Buy one from an original designer.
    Stop copying. Design. Man up.
    Quit being such crybabies.

    Mick
    Thank you for that! All the individuals saying they will never buy a Gibson? That's fine don't buy one! Vote with your wallet if it makes you happy -- it's certainly your right. But really who cares? Well maybe some do but I don't -- sorry.

    Buy one of the mandolins from a smaller/independent luthiers then it will make you happy and it will help them stay in business and make a profit and to stay in business. Win - win.

    All the talk about corporations having no soul, heart or morals. Is anyone surprised or shocked to discover that? Corporations are like people they have their good times and their bad times -- no person is perfect and no corporation is perfect. Gibson is no exception --they have done good things and bad things.

    I really don't think Gibson will soon fade from the scene. But if they do it will just be one more iconic brand and a big chapter in the history of American musical instruments to disappear into history and I don't think that would improve anyone's life actually.

    But it might make actual Gibson instruments more valuable perhaps?

    BTW just for the record I certainly hope that this action by Gibson Inc. does not actually "threaten" the livelihood any mandolin builder or any other private luthier. And I don't think it will.
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Jun-23-2019 at 9:08am. Reason: left out a point
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  12. #209
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    If they have not registered the trademark by now itís going to be hard to get through the process now. Notice the F5 and A shapes are not trademarked. More than likely they are too generic now to trademark.

    In order to trademark you have to establish that the design is unique to your company. Anything that has been and is being used by a multitude of companies will be hard to trademark. IP law is complicated and there are steps that need to be taken before protections can be put in place.
    If you are correct no one has anything to worry about then?
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  13. #210

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    If you are correct no one has anything to worry about then?
    There is a post from an IP lawyer some pages back who works in the industry, who stated somewhat the same thing.

    However, it doesn’t stop the company from making threats, or dragging folks into court. It’s the equivalent of getting a notice of deficiency from the IRS. There’s a sense of fear from receiving “legal notices”. People react, and social media tends to magnify those issues that involve what people see as insolent behavior. Welcome to the twenty-first century.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Here's hoping Gibson kicks axx and takes names in this.
    In the almost 100 years since the iconic LL mandolins (and the decade of great design before that), designers still can't come up with their own designs?
    Such designers still copy the designs that another company's designers produced and count on their adherence to those design specifications as "proof" of their quality?
    And everyone demonizes Gibson? GMAB.
    Really a sad case being made here. And the quoting of "copyright" laws makes it only that much more pathetic.
    More power to Gibson.
    Let's see some more design originality from contemporary mandolin makers. And from buyers.
    You want a Gibson design? Buy a Gibson.
    You want an original design? Buy one from an original designer.
    Stop copying. Design. Man up.
    Quit being such crybabies.

    Mick
    Design specifications are not proof of quality. They are proof of design. And no one is demonizing Gibson. Let's face it, their business model hasn't been the best of late. Overall, they're usually pretty good quality but they've placed themselves on a pedestal and expect everyone to bow down and kiss the bucket of flowers between the tuners.

    The bankruptcy in their recent history is proof that the world isn't lining up to buy their products. That, coupled with the fact that they limit who can sell their new mandolins, for instance, probably indicates they think their perceived pedestal status is valid. And, like I said, while Gibson products are generally at least pretty good, there are taller pedestals in the market.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    We're talking mainly about mandolins here, so in response to Brunello's comments, think of applying the sentence "If you want a Gibson design, buy a Gibson" to 1975. The mandolin you would end up with would be very dissapointing and to make matters worse you would have almost no option available. There was no Weber, Collings, or Flatiron. There were Ibanez and Aria, but those didn't get it either.
    There were a few individuals who took it upon themselves to build as close as they could replica's of the original F-5 . And as time went on and Gibson still refused to build an acceptable alternative even with an ever growing demand more and more builders got in the game. When Gibson (after the new ownership) saw what was happening they sued Flatiron which was about the first company making F models in large numbers even though they were incapable of building mandolins themselves. They had to buy Flatiron and have them do the building for them!
    So in short, Gibson is a late comer to the modern mandolin game even though what most people want is a mandolin like the original Gibson company made in the early 20's.

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    So in short, Gibson is a late comer to the modern mandolin game even though what most people want is a mandolin like the original Gibson company made in the early 20's.
    What you say is generically correct. However, I think to be totally correct, you should add "What Gibson researched, tested, innovated, designed and patented back in the '20's is what most people want."

    While Gibson might not have made many mandolins in the 70's, or any other era for that matter, that doesn't give anyone a right to infringe on their IP if Gibson legally owns the trademark or patent on any design or product. In my opinion, they have every right to seek recourse to protect their property. Again, just my opinion.

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  20. #214

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    What you say is generically correct. However, I think to be totally correct, you should add "What Gibson researched, tested, innovated, designed and patented back in the '20's is what most people want."
    To be “totally correct”, Gibson didn’t patent ANY of the items discussed, in the 1920’s or anytime else. They do have trademarks across a number of years, like any company (Coke or Pepsi). And they didn’t trademark any of the acoustic body designs. You can look on the Gibson site to verify that.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  22. #215
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    We're talking mainly about mandolins here, so in response to Brunello's comments, think of applying the sentence "If you want a Gibson design, buy a Gibson" to 1975. The mandolin you would end up with would be very dissapointing and to make matters worse you would have almost no option available. There was no Weber, Collings, or Flatiron. There were Ibanez and Aria, but those didn't get it either.
    There were a few individuals who took it upon themselves to build as close as they could replica's of the original F-5 . And as time went on and Gibson still refused to build an acceptable alternative even with an ever growing demand more and more builders got in the game. When Gibson (after the new ownership) saw what was happening they sued Flatiron which was about the first company making F models in large numbers even though they were incapable of building mandolins themselves. They had to buy Flatiron and have them do the building for them!
    So in short, Gibson is a late comer to the modern mandolin game even though what most people want is a mandolin like the original Gibson company made in the early 20's.
    I think what you say is mostly true although thanks to Roger Siminoff I would suggest that Gibson more or less got back into the game in 1978 with the release of the F-5L? So they were not really so late to the modern mandolin party OMO. I would say that the first serious, quality copies of the Gibson F-5, even with "The Gibson" on the head-stock, started in the early '70s?

    In my opinion, those early builders of quality F-5s SHOULD have told the BG musicians to pound sand and put THEIR OWN NAME on the head stock? When someone makes a mandolin that is actually BETTER than the one you are making and then puts YOUR NAME on the head stock why would you (or Gibson) say anything about it? LOL!!

    But adding the adjective "modern" to mandolin does not change the fact the Gibson Inc built the first F-5 and many others are still copying them. Yes some might make a better mandolin then Gibson but again that is not relevant to the copyrights/patent issue is it?
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Jun-23-2019 at 10:49am.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    ...And no one is demonizing Gibson.
    I would beg to differ.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    ..Welcome to the twenty-first century.
    Exactly. And so why is everyone so upset - - this is business as usual?
    Bernie
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  25. #218

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    What you say is generically correct. However, I think to be totally correct, you should add "What Gibson researched, tested, innovated, designed and patented back in the '20's is what most people want."

    While Gibson might not have made many mandolins in the 70's, or any other era for that matter, that doesn't give anyone a right to infringe on their IP if Gibson legally owns the trademark or patent on any design or product. In my opinion, they have every right to seek recourse to protect their property. Again, just my opinion.
    Part of *still* owning a legal trademark is having vigorously defended that trademark against all comers. In this set of cases/trademarks dating back decades, Gibson didn't do so, which legally would make those designs piblic domain.

    Additionally, certain of the trademarks were only recently filed with designs added retroactively, in spite of years of such designs having been in the public domain due to lack of vigorous defense and enforcement.

    That's why Dean and a group,of others have now been moving to challenge the recent attempt to recall these designs from the public domain, doing so at the trademark level.

    Out of curiosity, how do you justify the long periods without Gibson's vigorous protection, as required by law to retain such trademarks, with your opinion that Gibson still legally maintains the rights to that which they didn't defend?

    Additionally, how do you defend opinion that Gibson is entitled to trademarks on design facets which they only trademarked recently, long after they were public domain?

    I'm genuinely trying to understand how people are appearing to gloss over those essential points, whether through genuinely not knowing about those facts, or deliberately not mentioning them because those facts weaken Gibson's case(s). That's why I'm hoping for an explanation which satisfactorily explains why those disqualifying facts regarding these trademark claims are actually irrelevant in this one particular case with respect to the actual law.

    Cheers!

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  27. #219

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    I think what you say is mostly true although thanks to Roger Siminoff I would suggest that Gibson more or less got back into the game in 1978 with the release of the F-5L? So they were not really so late to the modern mandolin party OMO. I would say that the first serious, quality copies of the Gibson F-5, even with "The Gibson" on the head-stock, started in the early '70s?
    I agree Bernie, that the introduction of the F5L was a big step in the right direction in Gibson's return to building a respectable mandolin. But it took those other "builders getting in the game (approximate quote from Jim Hilburn)" to force them in that direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Here's hoping Gibson kicks axx and takes names in this.
    In the almost 100 years since the iconic LL mandolins (and the decade of great design before that), designers still can't come up with their own designs?
    Such designers still copy the designs that another company's designers produced and count on their adherence to those design specifications as "proof" of their quality?
    And everyone demonizes Gibson? GMAB.
    Really a sad case being made here. And the quoting of "copyright" laws makes it only that much more pathetic.
    More power to Gibson.
    Let's see some more design originality from contemporary mandolin makers. And from buyers.
    You want a Gibson design? Buy a Gibson.
    You want an original design? Buy one from an original designer.
    Stop copying. Design. Man up.


    Mick
    Posts like Brunello's offer a nice sounding show of respect to the company that started it all. Unfortunately, those same posts are a slap in the face to Hutto, Wood, Duff, Gilchrist and many others that have made possible the wonderful choices we enjoy today.

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Quit being such crybabies.

    Mick
    That request could certainly made of both sides.
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

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  29. #220

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Prior to this Gibson was doing a pretty bang up job with their fresh start approach. They were cleaning up their act, and going back to the basics, building the guitars most people want to buy. They hired a guy that was familiar and well liked to be their new face. I was feeling pretty good about them, but always in the back of my mind I was wondering when KKR was going to screw it up. Well, we found out.

    When I was watching the new Gibson videos I saw a guy genuinely enthusiastic about guitars. I was rooting for them. Yes, I fell for the leather jacket CEO and all. I added Gibson to the list of mandolins I'd consider. Still will in the used market. I fear they have left a permanent stain.
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    http://siminoff.net/cms/wp-content/u...of-the-F5L.pdf

    I just re-read this. Good insight into where the Corp was back then. Couldn't convince them there was enough of a market.

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  32. #222
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Let's see some more design originality from contemporary mandolin makers. And from buyers.
    You want a Gibson design? Buy a Gibson.
    You want an original design? Buy one from an original designer.
    Let's not forget that the F-Style mandolin ist basically a cartoon character version of the Italian violin, with F-holes in place and the scroll transplanted from headstock to body. Any modern design is just a citation of (and often a bow to) another earlier design. Buying from the original designer is OK if you chance to meet Sig. Stradivari.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  34. #223

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I have been reading about this BS from Gibson. They started going after Armadillo who owns Dean and Luna.

    The 2 issues that Gibson will loose is the trademark infringement for the Flying V and Explorer models.

    These models are Dean's V and Z. Gibson did register these in 1995 and 1997. Dean has been building these since the mid 70's.

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  35. #224
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Part of *still* owning a legal trademark is having vigorously defended that trademark against all comers. In this set of cases/trademarks dating back decades, Gibson didn't do so, which legally would make those designs piblic domain.

    Additionally, certain of the trademarks were only recently filed with designs added retroactively, in spite of years of such designs having been in the public domain due to lack of vigorous defense and enforcement.

    That's why Dean and a group,of others have now been moving to challenge the recent attempt to recall these designs from the public domain, doing so at the trademark level.

    Out of curiosity, how do you justify the long periods without Gibson's vigorous protection, as required by law to retain such trademarks, with your opinion that Gibson still legally maintains the rights to that which they didn't defend?

    Additionally, how do you defend opinion that Gibson is entitled to trademarks on design facets which they only trademarked recently, long after they were public domain?

    I'm genuinely trying to understand how people are appearing to gloss over those essential points, whether through genuinely not knowing about those facts, or deliberately not mentioning them because those facts weaken Gibson's case(s). That's why I'm hoping for an explanation which satisfactorily explains why those disqualifying facts regarding these trademark claims are actually irrelevant in this one particular case with respect to the actual law.

    Cheers!
    Of course you have your opinions and others have theirs. But no one here has to "justify" the actions of Gibson vis a vis their right to any claim of proprietary ownership of any design or design feature?

    Gibson has a right to make their claims, they are doing it, and in the end these claims will be settled via the legal system I suppose.

    Likewise no one has to "justify" their opinions about the matter? They are after all opinions.

    In my case I think Gibson was remiss not to have made all these claims decades ago but they screwed up and didn't do it. That is on them.

    No doubt Gibson was a very "loosely" run company. They had to have others (i.e., their customers and enthusiasts) figure out what they made and when they made it -- their internal "records" were a joke. Martin can tell probably tell you the temperature on the day the guitar was made. But Martin is not nearly as complicated or far reaching of a company as Gibson with their mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, tenor banjos and guitars, 5-strings, tenor lutes. mandolin banjos, all kinds of guitars and violins and I am leaving a lot of things out. I could go on but all that stuff is well known.

    On the other hand Gibson because of all that is an iconic brand with a history dating back over a century - folk music might not be the same without a Gibson and their great (most of the time) instruments. I take the good with the bad and I love Gibson some don't and that's fine with me.

    Today Gibson is making great instruments again. If they want to try to reclaim some of their history and work they can and they will. We'll all see how successful they are in this bid.

    I state again I doubt any private mandolin makers will be impacted much. Mandolins are not on Gibson's "big picture" radar these days. And I'm glad because their mandolin builders can work in peace building the best mandolins the company ever made!

    As well, younger bluegrass and other musicians don't care as much about the name on the head stock -- they want the instrument to perform.
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  37. #225
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Let's not forget that the F-Style mandolin ist basically a cartoon character version of the Italian violin, with F-holes in place and the scroll transplanted from headstock to body. Any modern design is just a citation of (and often a bow to) another earlier design. Buying from the original designer is OK if you chance to meet Sig. Stradivari.
    Bertram,I don't think the F5 was taken to much from a violin,Orville was influenced by the Victorian era art in which he lived,,everything was scrolls,leaves,flowers and carvings,the f holes came much later...I'm not dissagreeing with you,I think the 3 pt body and inlays and such is,very Victorian also..

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